Indonesia’s foreign ministry said it regrets an assault on a Nigerian diplomat by its officials.
Indonesian foreign ministry spokesperson Teuku Faizasyah said the ministry regretted the incident in Jakarta on August 7 and was communicating with the Nigerian government on the issue.
“That incident was an isolated incident and does not have anything to do with Indonesia’s commitment to performing its duties as a host country as per Vienna conventions on diplomatic relations,” Faizasyah said.
“The law and human rights ministry has launched an internal investigation as a follow up to that incident.”
A video of the incident, widely shared on social media and sparking outrage among users, shows the visibly distressed man being restrained inside a vehicle by several men.
The Nigerian diplomatic agent groaned in pain, saying “I can’t breathe” at one point in the video while Indonesia Immigration officials pinned his head to the seat.
The Nigerian government has since recalled its ambassador to Indonesia for consultations and review of dealings with Indonesia.
“The Nigerian government demands appropriate sanctions against the relevant officials and has recalled its ambassador in Indonesia for consultations, including a review of bilateral relations,” Esther Sunsuwa, a foreign ministry spokesperson, said in a statement on Wednesday.
Nigeria’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs in a statement said it condemns the assault on the Nigerian diplomat.
The government disclosed that the Indonesian ambassador to Nigeria has “explained what he understood happened and apologised unreservedly on behalf of the Government of Indonesia.”
Nigeria’s Foreign Minister Geoffrey Onyeama strongly condemned the incident, calling it “an egregious act of international delinquency by Indonesian state actors”.
Onyeama said, “unfortunate incident is against international law and the Vienna Conventions governing Diplomatic and Consular Relations between states.”
Reuters reports that Indonesia’s immigration office defended the actions of its officers, saying the diplomat had been “uncooperative” when questioned in front of a Jakarta apartment.
Head of the Jakarta law and human rights agency that oversees immigration Ibnu Chuldun told a streamed news conference on Thursday the diplomat had refused to show his identity cards and subsequently attempted to break the car window with an e-cigarette when apprehended, causing an injury to one officer.
Chuldun said Indonesia “Immigration has launched an internal coordination to improve on the operational standards when taking action and monitoring on foreigners.”